Insider’s guide to Mallorca, Spain – Living 360
Mallorca is the largest island in the Balearics. You may think of Mallorca as a party island, however, this is much more to this beautiful gem than cocktails and dancing. Mallorca has a stunning coastline, but also an equally as beautiful interior- especially outside of the high season, when the streets are empty and you are free to explore. The island has a mountain range, a World Heritage Site, wineries and luxurious resorts. There is so much to do and see, from exploring the countryside, to diving in the crystal clear ocean. We have put our thoughts together to get started..
WHAT TO SEE
If you want to watch the sunset over this stunning paradise, then head down to Caleta de Frares. Located on the Bonaire peninsula in Pollensa, Caleta de Frares is a deserted rocky beach where the open ocean looks like a beautiful blue pool. Another beach to visit is Es Coll Baix, a secret, secluded beach at the foot of a cliff, under the shadow of a degence tower from the 16th century. It is difficult to find, but once you do you will be astounded.
For walking adventures, visit the S’Albufera Nature Reserve. On the northeast cost, there are over 4,200 acres of wetlands here, making a great spot for cycling, walking and bird watching. There are over 200 bird species within these wetlands, including kestrels, falcons and purple herons!
Another sanctuary is the Lluc Sanctuary. Set in Serra de Tramuntana, Lluc is the spiritual center of Mallorca. In the 13th century a figure of the Madonna was found on the site, and so it became a place of pilgrimage and the foundation of a monastery. The monastery is now a simple yet beautiful hotel, and the original figure of Madonna is not adorned with a jeweled crown and on display in Basilica.
WHAT TO DO
One way to spend a day and see the island is by vintage train. There is a wooden train that runs from Palmer to Soller, 17 miles away, and follows a route through tunnels cut through the mountains, olive groves, citrus orchards and pine forest. Once you have stopped at Soller, explore the little town. Look at the Art Noveau houses, shop in the craft markets or take the tram down to the harbor for lunch.
If you are a fan of wine, then spend your time exploring Mallorca’s wineries. Most of the wines are made in and around Binissalem- a village north-east of Palma. The main grapes used are Callet, Manto Negro and Moll, and most of the wineries are open to the public. The most famous winery is the winery of Jose L. Ferrer, but you should also visit the less well-known wineries, such as Vins Nadal and Son Prim.
Spend some time away from the beach and go hunting for new purchases. There is a great shopping scene in Mallorca, with vintage fashion, new designers and urban art.
WHERE TO EAT
Carrer de la Missió, 7, 07003 Palma
+34 971 72 01 14
Marc Fosh is a British chef who creates Mediterranean dishes using local produce. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 2014, and the menu changes seasonally. Expect to see dishes such as hake with artichoke-tomato ristotto, apply vodka jelly and loin of hare with poached pear.
Urbanización Es Guix, Escorca
00 34 971 517092
Almost hidden among the holm oaks, this restaurant in the Serra de Tramuntana mountains near Lluc Sanctuary is the perfect place for lunch. The terraces are built into the hillside overlooking a rock pool, and provide ample shade for hot days. The menu is traditional Mallorcan, with dishes such as arros brut- a rice dish made with chicken, rabbit and sausages.
00 34 971 530005
With homemade paella and fresh fish, this eatery in Pollensa is tasty, affordable and unpretentious. The terrace area is beautiful, so if you make a booking make sure that you ask for an outside table.
WHERE TO STAY
The whole island of Mallorca is only about 45 miles from north to south, and 60 miles from east to west, so if you are driving you can explore the whole island from wherever you choose to stay.
+34 971 87 15 25
We touched upon the monastery earlier on in this article, and it is definitely worth mentioning again. The monastery is surrounded by holm oaks, has beautiful walking tracks around and you can hear the sounds of the choir school and the sheep bells.
Viva Vanity Hotel Suite
+34 971 56 65 80
This hotel is adults-only. Hidden in the north-east of the island, the pool area is incredible and is surrounded by loungers and four-poster day beds on a grassy lawn. The menu is buffet style for all meals, and there is even a nightly activity program if you want to get involved in the action!
Now, this is not a suggestion of a hotel, but rather an area to stay in. Arta is a small, picturesque town in the north-east of Mallorca. This charming little town has old traditional houses, adorned with olive trees and even small pools, and these are easy to rent as visitors. There are nearby coves and beaches, and the best thing about staying here is that it is a quaint, un-touristy little sanctuary.